Iced Spice Valentines
It took me twenty years to make these cookies. Well, sort of, anyway. Back in the day when I was blissfully staying at home with my kids who are now grown and married, (and Richard wasn't even born yet!) the Jan./Feb. '89 issue of Creative Ideas for Living had a plate of beautifully decorated Valentine cookies on the cover. I loved those cookies. I loved them so much in fact, I saved the issue so I could make the cookies later. I did make the recipe. Just not the hearts. I made the recipe time and time again for Christmas, Easter, Halloween...but I never made those lovely hearts. Until now.
I decided that since I was snowed in yet again,making cookies was the perfect distraction to take my mind off of my predicament. I do love living back in the woods until it snows, especially with as much as we've had recently. There's no way I'm shoveling that half mile driveway! (We finally did get out...just in time to stock up before the next snowstorm. Last weekend I was snowed in with no butter in the house. I shudder to think of it.) Decorating the cookies actually wasn't as daunting of a task as I thought it would be. The most time consuming part was coloring the frosting! Want to make some for your Valentine?
Here's how to do it:
- Make a batch of Iced Spice Cookies. While they are cooling, make some Royal Icing. (recipes here)
- After making a batch of royal icing, divide it into individual ramekins or small bowls, one for each color you want. Color the frosting in each ramekin. (I used Wilton Gel Food coloring.) Put some of each color in a decorating bag and leave some in the ramekin to thin with water later. The frosting you put in the bags will be used for outlining and decorating. The frosting left in the ramekins will be used to frost the cookies. Cover your ramekins to keep the frosting from drying out. Put your filled decorating bags tip down in a container with a damp paper towel in the bottom to keep the frosting from drying out.
- Outline the hearts with royal icing. (I used Wilton #3 tip for this.) Let it set for about half an hour. (There's my vintage magazine with the cookies on the cover!)
- Thin the royal frosting (that you left in the ramekins) with a few drops of water at a time until it is a thick syrupy consistency. Spoon some of the thinned frosting into the center of a cookie and spread it out to the outline with a small spatula or butter knife.
- Let the frosting set for a couple of hours. (I have a hard time waiting any longer than that.) Pipe on designs with the royal icing left in your decorating bags.(I used Wilton #2 tip.) After the designs are completely set (overnight is good) you can bag them individually or carefully put them in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers.
- Enjoy them with your Valentine(s)...I know I will!